WASHINGTON, D.C – 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney announced Friday that he would not be making a bid for the White House in 2016.
“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told supporters on a conference call from New York.
Romney, 64, has made two bids for the White House before. In 2008, Romney withdrew his name for the Republican nomination before endorsing Arizona Senator John McCain. In 2012, Romney, with the backing of the majority of the party, earned the Republican nomination.
The announcement not to run comes after many of his former major donors and a veteran staffer in the early voting state of Iowa defected to support former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Bush formed a PAC, which is required for raising money and hiring a staff for a campaign, in December of last year.
The 61-year-old former governor reacted to Romney’s announcement on social media.
“Mitt Romney has been a leader in our party for many years. There are few people who have worked harder to elect Republicans across the country than he has.” Bush said via Facebook. ”Though I’m sure today’s decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America’s promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense. Mitt is a patriot and I join many in hoping his days of serving our nation and our party are not over. I look forward to working with him to ensure all Americans have a chance to rise up.”
Bush and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would have served as Romney’s most likely rivals for the support of GOP members and donors.
Romney is not expected to endorse another Republican candidate.
“I am convinced that we could win the nomination, but I fully realize it would have been a difficult test and hard fight,” Romney said.
As for reconsidering another bid for the White House in the future, Romney said it “seems unlikely.”